By now you’ve probably scrolled past images on Instagram of glamping- making experienced campers laugh and wilderness-challenged folks actually open to the idea. Being a rather novice camper myself, I jumped on the opportunity to head the hour and a half to the Poconos and try a night of island glamping at The Shawnee Inn. Located right on the Delaware River, this golf resort decided to give guests the unique experience of canoeing out to an island for an evening of glamping, followed by breakfast cooked right on the campfire. Follow along for our experience!
Arrival: 9:30 AM
Since glampers don’t head out to the island until later in the evening, we headed to The Shawnee Inn early in order to enjoy the resort’s amenities as well as take part in some of their day’s scheduled activities. We wanted to try as many as possible- but were also excited to simply relax on the river’s edge, so we chose both the morning hike and late afternoon brewery tour.
Morning Hike: 10 AM
After arriving, we ended up heading a few miles down the road to the Delaware Water Gap for a morning hike. With bug spray and our water bottles in hand, we made our way up the trails. We passed several families, solo hikers, and couples enjoying the walk up also. While we could have spent the whole day hiking the beautiful mountainside, we made sure to make it back to the resort in time to enjoy the river before our brewery tour at 4. So we headed back down, collected a few rocks for our Bronx rock hunting group, and made a note to return for the waterfall hike at some point over the summer.
Relaxing on the River: 1 PM
Rather than go out to lunch, we packed our cooler with yummy provisions like salami, fresh mozzarella, bagel chips, grapes, and a bottle of Prosecco. It was the perfect food to nosh on as we laid out in lounge chairs on the river. We watched as a family tried their hand at fishing and then splashed around in the shallow beach area. The bottom of the river is rocky- so be sure to bring water shoes if you want to walk around the water comfortably.
Brewery Tour: 4 PM
Around 3:30, we headed to the car to drop off our cooler and change into something comfortable for the brewery tour. There is a locker room downstairs by the indoor pool where glamping guests can easily freshen up between activities. At 4, a gentleman from the ShawneeCraft Brewery met our group in the lobby and we headed next door to where the magic happens.
Our guide was very informative on not only the process of brewing, but the history of the brewery. Once an ice skating rink, brews from ShawneeCraft can now be found at local restaurants as well as on the shelves of area supermarkets. We started with a sample of the Biere Blanche- one of the most popular brews. It was refreshing after an afternoon on the water. We then headed back to where the brewing process takes place, and learned quite a bit about craft beer. It was then time to head back to the tasting room and enjoy some more samples from the menu.
Dinner: 5 PM
Our dinner reservations at Shawnee’s restaurant The River Room were at 5, so we headed back to the hotel. Being that you can not take any food or drinks out to the island for glamping- we made sure to eat a hearty meal before we departed. When you’re from a city where you can order take out at all times of the night, the thought of being hungry on an island added to the feel of roughin’ it- totally kidding. Sort of.
Martha opted for a New York Strip steak with fries while I decided to try the pork loin and mashed potatoes. We both enjoyed our meals with a side of mac and cheese. The food was delish and we ended our meal with a shared slice of cheesecake.
After dinner, we headed to the car to pick up our overnight bags and then relaxed in the lobby until it was time to depart to the island. Once our guide arrived, we headed to grab our life vests and oars, and hop into our canoe.
Departure to the Island: 7:30 PM
I will admit- I had no idea what to expect for our trip to the island. I assumed a guide would take us out in a larger canoe to the campsite. But as we listened to the instructions, Martha and I quickly realized we’d be putting our rowing skills to the test on our own. We were told to canoe a mile and a half down the river where we’d see our glamping hosts awaiting our arrival and help us dock our canoe.
With what little rowing experience I had from free canoe rides on the Bronx River and our visits to the lakes upstate, we headed down the river towards our destination. The Delaware River has many shallow parts around the resort and as we turned the corner on our first part of our journey- we got stuck on the very rocks we had been lounging on earlier that day. Luckily a dad was hanging on the water’s edge with his family and ran over to push us back in the water.
After that, we got the swing of things and caught up to the couple who had been launched before us. The rest of the way we relaxed as we took in the awesome view- including a few deer that came down to the water’s edge as we rowed by. We even took the time to Facebook live some of our adventure- in true glamping spirit. Around 40 minutes later we reached our destination and climbed a set of wooden stairs to our glamping site!
Island Arrival: 8 PM
The site was complete with a campfire surrounded by wooden chairs, a table with fun games to play, s’mores ingredients, wine & beer, and a table outside of each tent. To the right were restrooms with running water and electricity, and a shower complete with shampoo and soap.
We started out with beer that we had enjoyed earlier at the brewery tour and tried our hand at KanJam- a fun frisbee game. We then hit up the campfire and roasted marshmallows for our s’mores. After switching to white wine, we had some popcorn and chatted the rest of the night away. Eventually, we made our way to our tents and passed out in the comfortable Queen size bed and sleeper sofa.
Breakfast: 9 AM
We awoke to the smell of bacon, eggs, and home fries being cooked over the campfire. After breakfast, we enjoyed a nice refreshing shower before packing up our bags and getting ready for our canoe ride off the island.
Departure: 11 AM
Since we couldn’t go against the river’s current back to the hotel, we canoed 2 miles down the river into New Jersey- where a guide from the hotel picked us up and brought us back by van to the resort.
Pool Time: 1 PM
After we arrived back at the resort, we headed to the indoor pool to relax. We spent the last of our time swimming and lounging just outside of the pool, watching the golfers head out to the course for the day. Before departing, we showered in the locker room and changed into something comfortable for the ride home.
Depart: 4 PM
Overall, we had an amazing time glamping at The Shawnee Inn. While it was a more glamorous form of camping, the canoe ride and hiking we did earlier in the day still added some adventure and a challenge to the experience. Even for those who are no stranger to camping, I recommend this as a fun getaway for couples or friends to have the perfect blend of both adventure and relaxation- or even a fun family experience. There is also a riverside glamping option for folks who don’t want a camp attendant, but still want to walk up to those amazing views on the water.
For more information, visit www.shawneeinn.com.
Additional Glamping Facts
- Don’t forget that bug spray!
- You will only be on the island for the evening until the morning- so be sure to take advantage of all there is to do in the surrounding Pocono area.
- The resort requires at least two tents to be occupied for a night of glamping- if for some reason they do not book two tents, you will have the option to choose the Riverside glamping instead or schedule a different date to visit.
- Be prepared to row! While this is a luxurious form of camping- be prepared to put in some work with the canoe ride to and from the island.
- It is a communal campfire- there might be groups of friends, couples, or even a family.
- No outside alcohol is allowed- but there was plenty of wine and beer to go around for the evening.
- Rain won’t stop your glamping trip- but thunder, lightening, or high winds might need rescheduling or you can be moved to the resort if accomodations are available.
- Children should be at least 4 years old and 40 lbs- since they will be in the canoe.
- Group rates and pricing are available.
Here is the packing list The Shawnee Inn sent over before our visit:
If you have any additional questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below! Always happy to share our experience and give more insight on this fun adventure!
We received accommodations to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are our own.